“It seems as if the whole world has gone crazy”: Seeking peace in the midst of turmoil


For the first eighteen years of my life, I was Catholic. As I like to say, “the real kind, not the Christmas-and-Easter kind.” My family still is. Anyway, for fourteen of those eighteen years, I attended Catholic school. During the elementary and junior high-aged years, on Fridays during Lent, we as a school would go across the street to the church and practice a more child-oriented version of the Stations of the Cross. When we got to the station for the Crucifixion, there was a description of th … [Read more...]

There’s’ something religious about ‘political correctness’


Editor's note: This expression of ideas is way too long and meanders a bit. The author apologizes for not editing it down, but he's just got a lot going on right now. Shortly after returning home on a drizzly afternoon, I began doing the dishes. When I do the dishes, I listen to things, because doing the dishes is boring and it distracts me from all the gross slimy things that my fingers make contact with.On this particular dish session, I listened to a fascinating interview on Radio … [Read more...]

What’s Goin’ On With Peculiar People


We are due for a little change.Peculiar People is relaunching with a renewed emphasis on examining the world through a Mormon lens. We are not always sure what that means, but excited about the possibilities anyway.When Matt Bowman and Ben Park first launched Peculiar People, the world was getting to know our religion during the so-called Mormon Moment. But now that introductions have been made, and the spotlight shifted from Mitt Romney to a more eclectic representation of Mormondom, it … [Read more...]

With the Mormon Church’s Backlash Against Boy Scouts, Gay Leaders Are Merely Scapegoats


Young men in the Mormon faith are almost guaranteed to be automatically enrolled with the Boy Scouts of America. I spent the majority of my teenage life attending BSA camp-outs, rafting down rivers, and camping out in the middle of no-man’s land. The BSA has always stood for some perceived transition into manhood by many members—learning how to start a fire, properly use an ax, and how to tie one-thousand-and-one-knots.However, last month the BSA announced a policy change that would allow gay … [Read more...]

2 Girls For Every Boy: The Unpleasant Reality for Utah Mormon Singles

Manzel-Kinder_um_1910 copy

 The Beach Boys sang about it, and now it’s coming true here in the Salt Lake Valley. The guys are loving it, but the ladies? Well...So this very interesting article by Jon Birger that TIME published on their website yesterday was floated my way. As a single Mormon female, I was intrigued by its initial mention of more LDS women getting boob jobs as an apparent way of snagging a man. I have natural 40Cs. No problem there, but if I'm being honest, no guy who values chest size that m … [Read more...]

Jon McNaughton, the Obama Era’s Most Significant Artist


Gaze upon the works of Jon McNaughton, the most important painter of our time.*Undoubtedly, there’s an uncle, or a father, or a former bishop out there who has admired, shared, and maybe even paid for a painting by the Mormon artist and curmudgeon with a paintbrush. They may have it hanging in their study, or, God forbid, in their living room next to the red-robed Christ and a photograph of the Provo temple.McNaughton’s works are well known for their patriotism, and their subtle use of sy … [Read more...]

Matt Bowman and Ben Park Talk Seer Stones On RadioWest

Photograph by Welden C. Andersen and Richard E. Turley Jr., Courtesy The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

 For the lucky few vacationing in isolated corners of the world without internet access, you may have missed the furious hubbub surrounding Joseph Smith’s seer stone. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in conjunction with the Community of Christ released previously unseen photographs of the stone along with a new volume of manuscripts from the Joseph Smith Papers Project, sparking a conversation among Mormons about its significance and relevance to faith.Former Peculiar P … [Read more...]

A Review and a Farewell: Of Manuscripts and Seer Stones

I've been, as Mormons say, "less active" here at the blog for the past few months. A number of changes have forced me to contribute less---among them graduation ("Doctor Spencer," now!) and a move to Utah. And I'll now actually be signing off from the blog entirely. I'd like to make one last contribution before doing so, and that in form of a review. A few days ago, I had the opportunity to attend the press conference held in connection with the release of the newest volumes of the Joseph Smith … [Read more...]